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  • County attorney helps save infant

    060321 hayCOURTESY PHOTO Trinity County Attorney Colton Hay walks away from a one-vehicle crash, where he and others helped rescue an infant that was in the vehicle.

    News-Standard staff

    GROVETON — Trinity County Attorney Colton Hay can add lifesaver to his resume, having come to the aid of an infant following a car crash on May 25.

    The wreck occurred on State Highway 94 west of Groveton at about 5 p.m.

    According to police reports, the driver, James Christopher Gambrell Jr., 29, was driving his vehicle in an unsafe manner during a rainstorm, hydroplaned, and rolled the vehicle into a ditch.

    Hay said he witnessed the event on his way home from work,

    “We went over to the car, me and a few other people, and someone hollered, ‘There’s a baby in here,’” Hay said. “I carry a sledgehammer in the car for trailer hitches; we looked, found the child, and broke the back window.”

    Hay then called law enforcement officials on his cell phone to report the event.

    The car had come to a stop upside down in about a foot of water, with oil and other fluids leaking from the car, reports indicate. Hay, who recently became a father for the first time, climbed into the car to get the baby out.

    Hay said the car was filled with many items, such as computers and tools, which made entering the car difficult.

    “I shimmy into the car through the back window; the driver was wedged in the car, part in front and part in back,” Hay said. “I got to the baby; it looked to be about a year old. The car seat was flipped over, because it was not attached properly.”

    Hay said the child was crying and moving her arms and legs, and had a small abrasion on her cheek.

    “I unhooked her as carefully as I could from the seat, cradled her as best as I could, and shimmied out,” he said.

    Reports state the child was taken by ambulance to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver was arrested for driving with license invalid with a previous conviction, and other charges are pending.

    Hay said that with the help of other passers-by who witnessed the crash and stopped to help, they were able to help the child.

    “I just had a baby, and holding her was like holding mine, and we got her out and we all were ecstatic,” Hay said. “It was beautiful to see people to come together from all walks of life and save this girl.

    “It was an emotional experience,” he said.

  • Fatal Trinity County crash claims Groveton woman

    police lightsFILE PHOTO Police lights

    By Chris Edwards

    TRINITY COUNTY – A Groveton woman is dead following a multiple-vehicle crash that occurred near Groveton on the evening of Wednesday, March 31.

    According to Sgt. David Hendry with the Texas Department of Public Safety, DPS troopers responded to a three-vehicle crash, which involved one of their own, about six miles west of the Groveton city limits on SH 94.

    According to the preliminary investigation, a Mack truck towing a pole trailer was eastbound and a DPS Chevrolet patrol vehicle was westbound at approximately 6:45 p.m. The trooper in the patrol vehicle, Brady Germeroth, of Crockett, identified a movingviolation on another eastbound vehicle and made a U-turn.

    As Germeroth was attempting to re-enter the eastbound lane of the highway, the driver of the Mack truck drove over into the westbound land and struck a Jeep Wrangler head-on. Both the truck and its accompanying trailer crossed back over into the eastbound lane, striking the back right side of the DPS vehicle, and continued off the roadway where it overturned onto its passenger side and caught fire.

    The driver of the Mack truck, 35-year-old Chad Deford, of Livingston, was not injured in the crash, neither was Germeroth. The driver of the Jeep, 53-year-old Melanie Painter, of Groveton, was transported to Crockett Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased a short time later, according to Hendry. The crash remains under investigation.